Authors: Sir Julian Huxley

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English biologist

Author Works


The Individual in the Animal Kingdom, 1912

Essays of a Biologist, 1923

Essays in Popular Science, 1926

The Stream of Life, 1926

Animal Biology, 1927, revised 1957 (with J. B. S. Haldane)

Religion Without Revelation, 1927, revised 1947

What Darwin Really Said, 1929

The Science of Life, 1929-1930 (3 volumes, with H. G. Wells and G. P. Wells)

Ants, 1930

Bird-Watching and Bird Behavior, 1930

Africa View, 1931

What Dare I Think?, 1931

Simple Science, 1931-1935 (4 volumes, with Edward Neville da Costa Andrade)

A Scientist Among the Soviets, 1932

Scientific Reason and Social Needs, 1934

If I Were Dictator, 1934

The Elements of Experimental Embryology, 1934 (with Gavin R. de Beer)

We Europeans, 1935 (with A. C. Hadden)

At the Zoo, 1936

The Living Thoughts of Darwin, 1939

The Uniqueness of Man, 1941

Democracy Marches, 1941

Reconstruction and Peace, 1942

Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, 1942, 2d revised edition 1963

Evolutionary Ethics, 1943

TVA: Adventure in Planning, 1943

UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy, 1947

Touchstone for Ethics, 1893-1943, 1947

Man in the Modern World, 1947

Soviet Genetics and World Science, 1949

Evolution in Action, 1953

From an Antique Land, 1954, revised 1966

Kingdom of the Beasts, 1956

Biological Aspects of Cancer, 1957

New Bottles for New Wine, 1957

The Wonderful World of Life: The Story of Evolution, 1958

Conservation of Wild Life in Central and East Africa, 1961

Essays of a Humanist, 1963

The Human Crisis, 1963

Darwin and His World, 1965 (with H. B. D. Kettlewell)

The Wonderful World of Evolution, 1969

Memories, 1970-1973 (2 volumes)


The Captive Shrew, and Other Poems, 1932

Edited Texts:

T. H. Huxley’s Diary on the Rattlesnake, 1935

The New Systematics, 1940

Evolution as a Process, 1953

The Humanist Frame, 1961


Sir Julian Sorell Huxley was a leading voice of scientific humanism in the English-speaking world for more than forty years. Educated as a biologist and serving for many years as a professor of biology and zoology at American and British universities, he also addressed himself to the perplexing problem of science’s role in its social contexts. Although much of his published work is of a highly specialized scientific nature, he was also concerned with philosophical questions in numerous collections of essays.{$I[AN]9810000509}{$I[A]Huxley, Sir Julian}{$I[geo]ENGLAND;Huxley, Sir Julian}{$I[tim]1887;Huxley, Sir Julian}

Huxley’s family is notable for its high intellectual capacities and achievements. His father, Leonard Huxley, was both a noted educator and essayist, while his grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was a famed scientist. Julian Huxley’s great-uncle was Matthew Arnold, the critic. The noted author Aldous Huxley was his brother, while his half brother, A. F. Huxley, won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Sir Julian Huxley was educated at Eton and Oxford Universities, and he began his career as a lecturer in zoology at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1911. After three years in the United States at Rice Institute (where he founded the Department of Biology), he returned to England in 1916 to serve in the British armed forces during World War I. Immediately after the war, he returned to Oxford, where he remained until 1925. It was during this period that he began his prolific publication of scientific and humanistic works. His ability to make complicated scientific concepts comprehensible to the layperson, and his frequent radio lectures, fostered growing public interest in scientific developments.

After 1926, Huxley became increasingly active in international scientific affairs. His visits to Africa, initially for the British Colonial Office, resulted in publications that describe scientific problems in connection with astute political and social observations. His firsthand analyses of Soviet science are temperate views of both the weaknesses and strengths of the Soviet Union’s system of scientific inquiry. As the first director of the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), he was responsible for that organization’s initial programs, and he is credited with making UNESCO a valuable agency of the United Nations.

Although he was often controversial–because of, among other things, his advocacy of eugenics to improve the human race and the atheism imputed to him–Huxley was a powerful force in keeping scientists aware of their humanistic obligations and in dispelling much of the mystery of the laboratory for the nonscientist.

BibliographyBaker, John Randal. Julian Huxley, Scientist and World Citizen, 1887-1975: A Biographical Memoir. Paris: UNESCO, 1978. A study of Huxley’s life.Clark, Ronald W. Sir Julian Huxley, F.R.S. New York: Phoenix House, Roy Publishers, 1960. An overview.Dronamraju, Krishna R. If I Am to Be Remembered: The Life and Work of Julian Huxley, with Selected Correspondence. River Edge, N.J.: World Scientific Publishing, 1993. A study of Huxley’s life.Green, Kevin. “Xavier Herbert, H. G. Wells, and J. S. Huxley: Unexpected British Connections.” Australian Literary Studies 12 (May, 1985). Compares Huxley with his contemporaries.Huxley, Juliette. Leaves of the Tulip Tree: Autobiography. Topsfield, Mass.: Salem House, 1987. This memoir by Huxley’s wife discusses family relations.Irvine, William. Apes, Angels, and Victorians: The Story of Darwin, Huxley, and Evolution. 1955. Reprint. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972. A historical study of the biological investigations begun by Thomas Henry Huxley and continued by Julian Huxley.West, Philip. “Brothers Under the Skin: Aldous and Julian Huxley.” In Blood Brothers: Siblings as Writers, edited by Norman Kiell. New York: International Universities Press, 1983. Discusses relations between the Huxley brothers.
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